Who would guess that my desire to use up some woody asparagus ends would inspire this entire dinner? But then again my favorite recipes always start in the strangest, most random ways. Although this recipe has several steps it’s quite simple, especially if you are a multi-tasker. The most difficult part for me is not overcooking the salmon. Always pull it from the oven before you think it’s done. Carry-over cooking will do the rest. Feel free to substitute roasted tomatoes or asparagus for the fresh shiitakes or spinach, chard or other leafy green for the baby kale.
Wild Salmon with Roasted Asparagus, Garlic, and Kale Puree, Sautéed Shiitake Mushrooms, Baby Kale, Linguine, and Mushroom Broth
2 – 6 oz. wild salmon filets
2/3 c plus 2 tbsp asparagus, garlic, and kale puree
2 oz. fresh shiitake mushrooms
1 c packed baby kale
4 oz. package dried shiitake mushrooms
3 oz. dried linguine
1 tsp garlic, shaved or grated
Juice from 1 small lemon
Fresh basil or tarragon for serving
Soak dried mushrooms in hot water for 20 minutes or until soft, strain, rinse and reserve soaking liquid, then chop. Skin salmon then coat in olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or 300 degrees for 15-17 minutes or until cooked to your liking. Meanwhile, cook linguine and dried mushrooms in a large pot of salted boiling water until pasta is al dente. Strain and toss with olive oil. Heat a teaspoon or two of sunflower oil in a sauté pan until oil sizzles. Cook mushrooms for 3 minutes then add ½ c soaking liquid, kale, and garlic, salt and pepper. Cook 3-5 minutes or until kale is wilted. Add pasta mixture and a couple tablespoons of asparagus puree. Stir to combine. Spoon 1/3 puree on each plate and divide pasta mixture between the plates. Top with salmon, lemon juice, fresh herbs and extra-virgin olive oil. Devour, preferably with wine.
Asparagus, Garlic, and Kale Puree
Woody bottoms snapped off of 2 lb. asparagus (about 2 cups)
½ c packed baby kale
3 cloves garlic
1/3 c olive oil
½ tbsp white miso
Water, as needed
Coat asparagus and garlic in olive oil. Roast at 375 degrees for 30 min. and 350 degrees for an additional 30 minutes, stirring every 10-20 minutes. Allow mixture to cool. Puree in a high-speed blender with remaining ingredients adding water if necessary. Puree will firm up in fridge. You will have some extra after making the above recipe. Spread it on a sandwich or use it to create a pasta sauce. Yum!